Several appointments were made that could not be
kept and those appointments came in the shape of text
messages or emails that were only reluctantly returned
she did not like people showing up
at her house before she could clean it even worse was
a knock late at night when she was busy
with her Tempranillo forgetting
how hard it was to blend into
the community especially
under these circumstances she remembered
being a child sitting like this in front of the TV alone
when her mother was working
maybe she’ll always be the same little person
who never said no and let him do it
to feel her opening maybe she will stop
the rest of the world coming in
WHITE PAPER BIRDS
Sometimes you have to breastfeed your kid
even when you don’t feel like breastfeeding your
kid. Near the end of her feed she pulls off
to look at you with her round eyes and you don’t
look away. Sometimes you have to sing
your kid to sleep even when you don’t feel up
to any song. When you put her down she
cries, she always cries. You pick her up when
you are a piece of glass. You kiss her
and kiss her and pick her up and put her down
and kiss her again like a wolf.
You are a real mother.
You don’t kick or break any toys
on purpose. And you don’t scream and you don’t weep.
Your baby grows. You’ve got a shiny red shovel
for all your shitty feelings.
Suddenly all your poems toddle. You’ve got a daughter
with a broken lip where she’s been biting down.
The house is full of nests. Tiny piles of torn
newsprint, a million crumpled swans
swimming down the stairs. Another life
folded inside each paper bird.